Painting water shadows and wet stuff - Monster Rider WIP

  • I'm trying to create a series of monsters in various textures and the one I am currently doing is a octopus like monster with a globe of water for a head. I feel like I am getting towards a finishing point but I am stuck on how to best paint the shadows that come from the water and how to make the octopus a bit more slippery looking. If there are any other parts you feel aren't working too then please mention them as I am getting a bit lost in the details.

    0_1526531434163_Octopus monster 9.jpg

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    @gary-wilkinson What a cool idea! The octopus looks slippery to me already. The surfaces are smooth and curved and the reflection dots achieve this affect. For the water shadows, try Googling pool reflections. You've got the shadow just fine, but that wavy reflective effect that pools create on walls might add to this piece.

    The one issue I'm having is that the octopus monster does not feel alive to me. When I first saw it, I thought it was some sort of snow globe, sans the snow. The tentacles also have a plastic or glass feel, rather than a living squirming sea monster. To resolve this, I'd bring those tentacles that are wrapped around the head down and moving around. I'd also spread out the tentacles a bit. I'd also add some monster eyes.

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    @gary-wilkinson cool! I can see that Japanese kaiju & general monster influence! 🙂

    Since your water is so blue, I would look to how light passes through marbles. Below is an image I found for you.

    Slippery organic things (like an octopus) tend to have more elongated & blotchy highlights since there is nuanced diversity to the surface structure. Also, not all are at the whitest value. I found a wet octopus for you too.



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    @gary-wilkinson BTW, since the globe of water seems to be a malleable organic (it's being squished on the left side), I was wondering if it may benefit to have an element of a slime coating to it. Took me just a little bit to find some reference for you, but hopefully these help.

    I do agree with @Johanna-Kim that something may need to be done to integrate the head & tentacles so that not only does it appear that it is more like a head rather than tentacles holding a ball, but also that it is a creature. Some of this will be taken care of by work on the reflected light, but other might be adding some additional details & nuances (e.g. Maybe slight splotch discoloration like freckles - usually fish, octopi, frogs, reptiles, etc. have this. See that octopus reference I posted earlier. Maybe in the white area of the tentacle it could have suction cups or ribbing—like the underside of a mushroom cap—or cilia—little tubes that move like on cell structures or like sea anemone. Maybe the slime I mentioned above. Maybe smaller vine-and/or-membrane-like things holding the head to the body.)

    Also, the tentacles/body are a little taffy-like to me right now, which isn't a bad thing, particularly for a fantasy creature that is apparently friendly due to the girl standing on it — just something I'm pointing out. I don't think that this has to have eyes/mouth/etc., particularly in light of the Japanese monsters that this seems kin to, but it may help emphasize this being a creature if there were some hint to such. If you do put something, perhaps eyes or an antenna-eye(s) could be inside the water globe

    Those are just some ideas, but I know that these might change the stylistic & demographic intent of the image more, so you may have to tone the thoughts I'm throwing out down some. (I've been working full-time on a lot of fantasy/scifi for the gaming industry these past couple of months, so my mind is a little more oriented that way right now)

    Here's the "slime" reference:


  • The slime is a great idea! Right now the octopus looks like he is out of water. If he isn't dripping wet out of water, he looks like he is drying off and in need of new water (squeezing the water globe). I do not know the time it takes for an octopus to dry out outside of the water. If he's been out long he might be cracking up (if they do that) and may lack that slippery exterior.

    If you can recall the scene from Night at the Museum 2 I think, the octopus in the scene was searching for water to hydrate itself and when it found it, it was such a joyful relief for the character and the audience alike.

    Looking forward to see your completed work. 🙂

  • @I agree with trying to give it a bit more life and will try and get those tentacles moving! As for eyes, I want to avoid giving any of the monsters eyes because in a way they are part of the children and don't exactly have their own consciousness. Here is another monster that I worked on before that follows a similar theme:

    0_1526601462621_straggly monstersvs.jpg

    @quietyell I really appreciate the time you took to find those reference images. Marbles were a great thought! I was trying to think how I could find a ball of water that was more like blueish water and I never even thought about marbles.

    Thinking about it, maybe the ball could be just a thing it is holding rather than it's head, but I will look into what you said about adding details to give more of a head feel if that's the best way to go about it. I also love the slime idea and will explore that further too. My main goal is to explore a range of textures so that would be a good addition and an additional challenge 😃

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    These are really cute! The octopus looks pretty slimey but I don't really feel like the globe of water is the head. It just looks like tentacles wrapped around a watery globe. Like two separate things instaed of one. I'm not sure how you could change that, if you even want to, but that stands out to me. Also, the water looks less wet than the tentacles.

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    @gary-wilkinson I love how you made the kids as the monsters' eyes, guiding them. Great idea!

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